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Align Infrastructure Architecture to Business Value

Take a service-based approach to integrate infrastructure into business conversations.

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Contributors

  • Walter F. Green, University of Arkansas, Director of Enterprise Architecture
  • Jeffrey Kirkell, Project Management Institute, Enterprise Architect
  • James Tully, Quirk Trip, Infrastructure Architecture
  • David Borsato, The Regional Municipality of York, Projects Manager Enterprise Architecture
  • Jordan Corn, AAA Mid-Atlantic, Director of Enterprise Architecture

Your Challenge

  • Management has been unable to design an infrastructure environment and landscape that supports business results and value.
  • Infrastructure is viewed as an undesirable cost, leading to underinvestment.
  • The infrastructure team has been in a firefighting mode and expected to streamline operations at the same time.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Infrastructure teams who fail to see and meet business needs will be fired. There is increasing pressure for the infrastructure team to demonstrate its direct contribution to business outcomes. In a digitally enabled world, failing technology infrastructure can have greater impact than ever.
  • Infrastructure functions not only as provider of core technical services, but also as broker to balance demand and capacity. All infrastructure design starts with translating business demands rather than technical requirements.

Impact and Result

  • Translate stakeholder objectives into infrastructure requirements. Incorporate infrastructure architecture quality attributes while evaluating the current state and future state of the infrastructure landscape to align with business goals.
  • Evaluate your infrastructure architecture from core services (i.e. email, internet, telephony) to obtain an end-user perspective for the range of issues, risks, and opportunities to address.
  • Select the right architecture solutions to help achieve business goals. Examine potential solutions with respect to established EA principles and constraints before implementation.
  • Review and recalibrate your infrastructure architecture so that it accurately reflects and supports stakeholder needs and technical environments. Actively involve and consult both stakeholders and technical teams throughout the architecture design process.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should align your infrastructure architecture to your business goals, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Identify services impacted by business strategy

Understand the current business situation and identify the top three to five business directives.

2. Prioritize gaps and identify solution options

Identify the source of deficiency by looking at individual components, flows, or dependencies. Explore solution options to manage or fix the deficiencies.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a three call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Identify services impacted by business strategy

Call #1 - Review best practices for documenting business scenarios. Translate strategy to business scenarios. Prioritize business scenarios.

Guided Implementation #2 - Prioritize gaps and identify solution options

Call #1 - Define quality expectations for services supporting the top three business scenarios. Discuss an assessment approach.
Call #2 - Perform a root-cause analysis of three major gaps in performance. Match solution options to address gaps.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Review Corporate Strategy

The Purpose

Review and define corporate strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

Defined corporate strategy.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Review strategic planning documents.

1.2

Understand the strategy that drives your infrastructure architecture.

1.3

Conduct stakeholder interviews to gather additional information on corporate strategy that is not in existing strategy documents.

  • Defined corporate strategy

Module 2: Identify Services Impacted by Business Strategy

The Purpose

Identify services impacted by the corporate strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

Understand the current business situation and identify the top three to five business directives.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Document your scenarios based on business goals and objectives.

2.2

Prioritize your high-value business scenarios.

2.3

Map out your core services from model scenarios created from business goals and strategy.

  • Understanding of the current business situation and the top 3-5 business directives

Module 3: Assess Gaps in Your Infrastructure Capabilities

The Purpose

  • Measure and assess gaps in your current infrastructure capabilities.
  • Match gaps to appropriate solutions.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An assessment of the current core services' performance
  • Common solutions for deficiencies

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Measure the current performance of core services and establish the target state.

3.2

Define quality expectations for core services to set a foundation for benchmarking.

3.3

Measure the performance of your current core services and compare against expected quality attributes in a three-step approach.

  • Assessment of the current core services' performance

Module 4: Match Gaps with Solution Options

The Purpose

Visually identify sources of deficiency and breakdown.

Key Benefits Achieved

A map of the infrastructure structure

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Start the structural heat map with the end user and reverse engineer the design.

4.2

Identify sources of deficiency by diving deeper into the current infrastructure landscape.

  • End-to-end map of the infrastructure structure
4.3

Perform a root-cause analysis of three major gaps in performance. Match solution options to address gaps.

  • Solution options to infrastructure deficiencies
4.4

Prioritize and communicate initiatives.

  • A communication plan to obtain buy-in for prioritized initiatives from leadership

Search Code: 81995
Published: October 20, 2016
Last Revised: December 21, 2017